New Study Finds Prison Bars Are No Barrier to the Positive Benefits of Relationship Education

incarcerated report v3.pdfSan Diego, CA—September 17, 2014—A new report finds that inmates who are taught communication and conflict-resolution skills believe these skills will improve the quality of their relationships, decrease their likelihood of re-offending, and increase their chances of finding employment post-release.

Unshackled Potential: The Impact of Relationship Education on Incarcerated Populations is the most recent publication by Healthy Relationships California (HRC), the nation’s largest Relationship Education (RE) organization. The study’s findings are drawn from the responses of 425 diverse participants taking RE classes lasting 6-12 hours in six correctional institutions located throughout California.

“After participating in an RE program, inmates realize that they now possess skills that can help them change the quality of their relationships, and thereby change the course of their lives,” reports HRC Director of Communications and Marketing K. Jason Krafsky. “We see these results as holding significant promise for the successful reentry into society of the increasing numbers of men and women being released from incarceration.”

Cost-effective and conducted in a relatively brief amount of time, RE teaches inmates foundational communication skills that help them resolve interpersonal strife that, in many cases, contributed to their incarceration. Through both quantitative and qualitative data, Unshackled Potential illustrates the positive changes RE effects in the lives of inmates, including:

84% reported that RE will help “Very much” or “A lot” with their relationships;

65% reported that RE will help “Very much” or “A lot” with avoiding criminality;

65% reported that RE will help “Very much” or “A lot” with successful employment.

Supporting the quantitative results, inmates speak poignantly about how RE benefits them personally, both while incarcerated and upon release. Says Rafael, “By taking this course, I realized a lot about myself, my behavior, Where, When and how I’ve been violent to myself or [a] significant other.” Grace observes: “Maybe being able to communicate more effectively with my family will enable me to nurture a harmonious home environment, so I can stay at home & not run the streets.” Kyle reports: “Skills in the [RE] class will keep me away from criminal activity by helping me step back and evaluate actions before acting upon them. Criminal activity is a normal thing in my life so doing this will not only keep me out of jail but bring me closer to love ones.”

To download the Unshackled Potential report, visit www.relationshipsca.org/store/free-resources.

HRC offers a wide range of Relationship Education courses in a variety of settings through local Partnering Organizations across the state of California, and has served over 200,000 individuals in the past nine years.

For media contact: Dyann Collins, TEL: 626.623.7036, EMAIL: Dyann@RelationshipsCA.org.

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